Masai Mara: We Watch 100000 Animals Cross the Mara River Today

By September 3, 2013 Uncategorized No Comments

News From Ben:

Another magnificent morning greeted us as we arrived at the park, destination Mara River to check on the enormous numbers of wildebeest and zebra we saw arriving during yesterday afternoon.

And even though we had great expectations, nothing could have prepared us for the continual nonstop relentless action all day long.

On the way to our favourite spot, the Fig Tree area, we passed a spot where a large, promising buildup of animals was visible on the opposite bank.

As we arrived at the Fig Tree area a crossing was in full swing, keeping our cameras ultra busy for the next hour. And even as we watched these animals brave the treacherous conditions and take on the hazards of the crossing, we could see that the spot we had passed earlier was now under tremendous pressure.



PHOTO: Wim van den Heever

As soon as the numbers at Fig Tree stared to decrease we dashed off to the other spot about two kilometres away where we arrived in time to see the entire crossing. This one lasted for about 45 minutes, and again our cameras were busy. 

There was so much action that in the cacophony, tumult, splashing, hurtling animals that we could practice panning shots, fast and slow shutter speeds, different f stops, and create a whole spectrum of amazing images. I have managed to capture about 9000 images! 350gigs which will keep me really busy when I return home.

Some aspects of the crossings are quite heart rending. Today there was little or no action from the many crocodiles that we could see sunning themselves on the banks of the river. But there were casualties when animals leaped down the cliffs to the river below.

Another very sad sight was the huge number of 6 month old calves that get separated from their mothers and then run around in a frantic panic, calling, bellowing and searching all around in vain. Many even decide to cross back to the opposite bank again to find their missing parents. The despairing sight is difficult to watch as we fervently hoped that families would online casino unite again.

In all we watched five massive crossings totalling about 100000 wildebeest and zebras.



PHOTO: Wim van den Heever


As each crossing started animals would start sprinting from far away, anxious not to be left behind. Then as they arrived at the river they would search for a convenient spot to get across. Dashing back and forth some leaped directly into the water, others slithered down the steep banks, while yet others in their urgency leaped down the hazardous 15 meter cliffs. It was difficult to decide which way to point our cameras as there seemed to be some amazing action everywhere. And when the animals reached the near side they popped up out of the water and sprinted furiously away from the river – even more action, noise, confusion, dust, mud and water everywhere.



PHOTO: Wim van den Heever

We were so engrossed that the day passed really quickly and before we knew it we had to leave in time to reach the gates, stopping for a few moments to photograph a herd of elephants with huge black thunderclouds behind them.

If the storm develops develops tonight there will be another buildup of animals again tomorrow and we plan to be there …